Total Time: (40:27)
James McKee Smith
Powell has certainly been keeping busy this year, not only scoring Shrek recently, but also the recently released Rat Race. I haven't heard the latter, and since there is no cd release of the score as of yet, it may be a while until I do.
Comparing this to the one effort of Powell's that I have heard, I think that this may be right on par next to Shrek, and since that score didn't recieve a flattering cd release of its own either, Evolution is the only way to go for people who are losing faith in the Media Ventures gang (I think that Powell and Gregson-Williams are the best after Zimmer). Even though I liked the Shrek score, one thing that was dissapointing about it, even in the context of the film, was that it played second fiddle to the pop songs that were sprinkled throughout the movie (which is also the reason the score wasn't released on cd). This prevented Powell and H.G-W. from producing a great score, despite the fact that it had an enchanting fantasy theme.
Luckily Evolution's score did not have to concern itself with the burden of competing with pop songs, and what we end up with is a selection of decent and fun themes, the best of which is quite memorable, though not as good as the previously mentioned theme from Shrek. Unfortunately, the performances of the various themes thoughout the disc are quite fleeting, and none hold on for any extended amount of time, which can be a little agrivating when you are listening and would like to hear a theme in full. The main theme itself is never given the treatment is deserves until the very last track, though I like the arrangement of it in track 15 better.
Oddly, one of the most noticeable aspects of the score is that it is broadly fashioned after Bernstein-style western scores of the golden age. This adds a charming comedic edge to a lot of the album, and I especially like how much of the music conjures up images of good guy gunslingers, or whatever "Our Heroes" call themselves in the flick.
My favorite track is probably "The Mall Race", which, as I said before, contains my favorite variation of the main theme, which is incredibly bold and heroic. I don't really know what the low point of the album is, since there are so many fun moments, which generally show up in most tracks at different points. These "fun moments" are what make the score worth purchasing.
Though some seem not to care for this, I think that I can easily recommend it to anyone who is out for a nice, light-hearted, and somewhat wacky action/comedy score. If you just want to buy some good music that you can enjoy without having to think too hard, then Evolution is probably your best bet from the year 2001.